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MCA screws workers to please Umno, says DAP

 | October 24, 2012

Sivanesan shoots back at critics of Pakatan’s minimum wage proposal.

TAIPING: MCA’s opposition to Pakatan Rakyat’s minimum wage proposal is proof that it cares more about pleasing Umno than improving the welfare of the poor, according to Perak DAP vice chairman A Sivanesan.

He alleged that Umno’s business cronies formed the main group trying to suppress wages and that “the MCA towkays” were keen to protect the interests of their “political masters”.

MCA leaders, particularly president Dr Chua Soi Lek, have often criticised Pakatan’s proposal of a RM1,100 minimum wage, saying its implementation would bankrupt the nation. Umno leaders have been using similar rhetoric.

Chua has claimed that a RM1,100 minimum wage would force small and medium-sized firms to close down, leading to massive unemployment.

Sivanesan, who heads DAP’s Labour Bureau, noted that there had been no official rejection of Pakatan’s proposal from small and medium-sized industries.

He said Chua was merely “shooting off his mouth”.

Pointing out that civil servants in the bottom ranks were enjoying a monthly salary of RM1,020, he said Barisan Nasional’s denial of a similar quantum for private-sector employees smacked of a double standard.

“The BN government is oppressing the working class for their right to a basic salary of RM1,100, while allowing Umno’s cronies to obtain huge profits,” he said.

He rejected MCA’s theory that a RM1,100 minimum wage would repel foreign investors, saying it was becoming harder for them to find cheap labour anywhere else, including China.

Referring to the government’s proposal of a RM900 minimum wage for private sector employees, he said it did not match current living costs.

He also said he doubted that the BN proposal would be implemented this January, as it has promised. He described it as a “political stunt” meant to draw the support of workers in the private sector.

“The coming general election will be the toughest for BN, and in their hour of desperation, they are making tall political promises ,” he said.


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